Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 651–661 | Cite as

Assessment of genetic diversity and population structure of an endemic Moroccan tree (Argania spinosa L.) based in IRAP and ISSR markers and implications for conservation

  • Ouafae Pakhrou
  • Leila Medraoui
  • Chaimaa Yatrib
  • Mohammed Alami
  • Abdelkarim Filali-maltoufEmail author
  • Bouchra Belkadi
Research Article


Argan Tree is well known for its precious oil extracted from its seeds particularly used for the nutritional and cosmetic benefits. Because of the high international demand, the argan tree suffers from overexploitation and its cultivation is rare. Thus, the assessment of the genetic variation of this endemic tree is critically important for designing conservation strategies. In the present study and for the first time, genetic diversity of the global natural distribution of argan tree (Argania spinosa L.) in Morocco was assessed. Four IRAP (inter-retrotransposon amplified polymorphism) primer combinations and seven ISSR (inter-simple sequence repeat) primers amplified 164 and 248 scorable polymorphic bands respectively. Polymorphic information content (PIC = 0.27), resolving power (Rp = 15) and marker index (MI = 10.81) generated by IRAP primer combinations were almost identical to those generated by ISSR primers (PIC = 0.27, Rp = 9.16 and MI = 12). AMOVA analysis showed that 49% of the genetic variation was partitioned within populations which is supported by Nei’s genetic differentiation (Gst = 0.5391) and the overall estimate of gene flow (Nm) being 0.4274. The STRUCTURE analysis, PCoA (principal coordinate analysis) and UPGMA (unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean) based on the combined data matrices of IRAP and ISSR divided the 240 argan genotypes into two groups. The strong differentiation observed might be due to the geographical distribution of argan tree. Our results provide crucial insight for genetic conservation programs of this genetic resource.


Argania spinosa L. IRAP ISSR Genetic diversity Population structure Conservation 



This work was realized in the framework of conducting the project ArganBiogen and funded by Hassan II Academy of Science and Technology (Morocco) and The Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Professional Training of Morocco. Acknowledgment to Saad Ibn Souda-kouraichi, Abdelhamid El mousadik, Abderrahim Ferradous, Fouad Msanda and Cherkaoui El modafar members of ArganBiogen consortium.


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Copyright information

© Prof. H.S. Srivastava Foundation for Science and Society 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ouafae Pakhrou
    • 1
  • Leila Medraoui
    • 1
  • Chaimaa Yatrib
    • 1
  • Mohammed Alami
    • 1
  • Abdelkarim Filali-maltouf
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bouchra Belkadi
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, Faculty of SciencesMohammed V UniversityRabatMorocco

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